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Kildollagh Parish Coleraine Londonderry (Antrim)

I am new to this and I need guidance!


I have my 3rd great-grandparents - 

William Morrison, son of Samuel, of full age, farmer, from Damhead, Parish of Kildolaaugh, Co. Londonderry 


Catherine Peacock, daughter of John, 19 years, from Pullans South, Parish of Kildollagh, Co Londonderry


Monday 27 June 1859 at the Registrar's office


Jane and Robert Freeman


William Young, Registrar.


I would LOVE to find out if Catherines mother was named Hanna.  

Catherine and William moved to the US.  Catherine and her young son Samuel (4) came to PA in Aug 1863 (I cannot find husband/father William Samuel Morrison ship manifest).  In the 1880 census, there was a 70 year old Hanna Peaock living in their home.  After that, Catherine, William and Hannah disappeared.  I am hoping to find a DNA connection to them, perhaps through siblings or parents.


So I am looking for other Peacocks and Morrisons from this area that might fit this family.  Perhaps John Peacock, Samuel Morrison, Hanna Peacock, Catherine of Williams records before they left for the US....any info....and I am STUMPED.  CAtherine and William's children in the US were named (in order): Samuel, John, Matthew, Jane, Sophia/Sephrira William, Isabella, Ann.  PLEASE HELP


Thank you!



Saturday 9th November 2019, 01:16AM

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  • This may be your Hannah Peacock:

    Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 9 November 2019), memorial page for Hannah Peacock (1810–1891), Find A Grave Memorial no. 72984772, citing First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Summit Hill, Carbon County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Emily Miller (contributor 47462726) .

    AB Wheeler

    Saturday 9th November 2019, 03:04PM
  • Thank you.  Yes I saw this and then I Drove the 3 hours to find the cemetery had been plowed over and made into a green park.  


    Very sad.





    Sunday 10th November 2019, 03:41PM
  • Catherine was born around 1840 (based on the 1859 marriage certificate). That’s well before the start of statutory birth registration in Ireland (1864) so you won’t get a birth certificate for her. Prior to that year we have to rely on church records where they still exist.

    I can see that the couple married in a Register Office so no clues there as to their denomination. However searching the 1901 census for that area most Peacocks were Church of Ireland.  If that was Catherine’s denomination, and if she was born in Kildollagh, then the bad news is that parishes early records were all lost in the 1922 fire. So there won’t be a baptism to find.

    If the family was Presbyterian, then there are some records for the churches around the Pullans area, in Ballymoney, Ballyrashane and Coleraine.

    Not every church has records for the 1840s and of those that do, not all are on-line, especially for Presbyterian records. However there is a pretty comprehensive collection of Presbyterian records in PRONI (the public record office) in Belfast.  You could get someone to go through all the Presbyterian churches in the area to see if they can locate her baptism. Researchers in the PRONI area:




    Wednesday 13th November 2019, 08:28PM
  • Hi Elwyn!


    Thank you so much for answering, and for pointing me in a new direction with what I could do next to continue this search.  I really appreciate it!  I also love some of the history of the area, although I am sad that records were lost to fire.  


    William and Catherine (and Hanna) went to the First Prebyterian Church in Summit Hill, PA.  

    So I am hoping that this indicates that they were also Prebyterian in Ireland.  Have you known people to switch?

    You had menrtioned that I might be able to explore some the area's records online by myself?  Or am I misunderstanding?  Idf so, where would I have the most luck with this?


    Also, it seems that Catherine was expecting a child when they were married as their first som Samuel was born just a few months later.  This may explain why they were married at the Registrar's office?  I am not familiar with Presbyterian or Church of Ireland's view of marrying while pregnant?  Do you have insight on this?  


    My little goal is to discover if the Hannah Peacock living with them in PA is Catherine's mother (I suspect so, and she would have been born ~1810).  I have a feeling that she was widowed, so that indicates that John Peacock died before 1880 when Hannah was found on the US census.  I have not been able to find a ship manifest for either Hanna or Catherine's husband William Morrison, but I did find one for "Kate" Morrison and her young 4 year old Samuel which seems to be a good match.  


    Thank you again for your guidance...





    Thursday 14th November 2019, 10:19PM
  • You ask whether I have known people to change denomination. Yes it happened quite regularly, especially where a couple were of different denominations, prior to their marriage. Tradition was to marry in the bride’s church after which she’d attend her husband’s. So if, for example, Catherine Peacock was Church of Ireland, but William Morrison was Presbyterian, then I would expect them to have married in the Church of Ireland, after which she’d have become Presbyterian. Not every family followed this tradition especially if the couple were a mix of RC and Protestant, or if one party was particularly staunch about their denomination and refused to change. Sometimes they stayed with their old denomination and then you may see the boys brought up under the father’s denomination and the girls under the wife’s.

    And of course some people switched denomination for other reasons eg they preferred a particular Minister or they wanted a different interpretation of the bible. (For example, many Presbyterians sought a stricter interpretation of the bible than the mainstream Presbyterian church offered, and became Reformed Presbyterians or Brethren. Many members of the Church of Ireland decided to become Methodists). The Roman Catholic church really only offers the one flavour of religion so not many changed there, save sometimes if marrying a Protestant, but within the Protestant churches there was movement between denominations.

    I note that William & Catherine married in a Register Office. People use register offices for various different reasons, but a common one in the 1800s was because they were from different denominations and could not agree on where to marry, or because no matter which church they chose, it was going to upset one of the families. Of course some must have gone to a Register Office because they were non-believers too. I don’t think being pregnant would be a reason though. Half the brides who married then were pregnant. You see a baptism in the records a few weeks after the marriage all the time. And they married in church. They sometimes got reprimanded for “pre-nuptial fornication” especially in the Presbyterian church which took a stern view on those things. But it would not have prevented them marrying in church. Indeed the church would have positively encouraged them to marry so that the baby was provided for and the relationship regularized.

    I wondered what denomination the Morrisons may have been. There was just one Morrison left in Dam Head in the 1901 census and she was Church of Ireland, so perhaps both William & Catherine were Church of Ireland.

    On the other hand, I spotted a marriage for what may be William’s sister.  Isabella Morison of Dam Head, daughter of Samuel, a farmer, married Hugh Freeman of Loughan on 17.6.1846 at Ballyrashane Presbyterian. So that would point to the Morrisons being Presbyterian.  Unfortunately Ballyrashane Presbyterian has no baptism records earlier than 1863. They were presumably lost or never kept.

    Samuel Morrison is noted as farming in Dam Head in the tithe applotment records in 1834.

    He had evidently left by the time of Griffiths Valuation of 1859, so he probably died between 1834 and 1859. The Mathew there in 1859 might be his son. Death registration only started in 1864 so finding out when Samuel died may be tricky unless there is a gravestone. The only Morrison gravestone in Ballyrashane Presbyterian churchyard reads as follows:

    In memory / of / Jane / the beloved wife of / Andrew Morrison / Knockinkeeragh / who died 13th May 1873 / also her infant son / also her daughter / Anna Dunn Morrison / who died 22nd Feby 1880 / aged 13 years / also her husband / Andrew Morrison / who died 28th Decr 1894 / aged 65 years

    I note that Catherine’s father was a weaver. They sometimes moved about a bit to follow the available work, so they may not always have lived in Pullans.  She might have been born in a different parish, probably nearby. Weavers could rarely afford gravestones so that makes them harder to trace too. William’s father was a farmer, and they tend to stay put. I see one Morrison farm in Dam Head in Griffiths Valuation in 1859. That was Matthew Morrison who had plot 1 which was a 28 acre farm. There were only 12 farms in the townland so that’s probably William’s home.

    You ask about searching church records on-line. Some protestant records for the Londonderry & Antrim areas are on-line on the rootsireland site (subscription) but a lot are not.

    A lot of the records have been microfilmed and are in PRONI in Belfast but you have to go in person to view them. In addition one or two churches still have the records, and the only way to search them is to go to the church.

    The PRONI guide to church records tells you what records survive for each church and where they are held. (Usually in PRONI but not always).

    Researchers in the PRONI area:



    Friday 15th November 2019, 12:29PM